Producer Yosuke Futami on Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization and X Accel World

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Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is set to release on November 8th in North America exclusively for the PlayStation 4. Last weekend, Bandai Namco Entertainment was in attendance at AkibaFest with a playable demo of the game along with producer Yosuke Futami.

Futami has worked on the previous Sword Art Online games including Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment, Sword Art Online: Lost Song and recently more recently A.W.: Phoenix Festa for the PlayStation Vita. Futami talked about a few features of the game and characters that have been revealed to be in the game including Premier, Yuuki, Kizmel and the mysterious NPC who looks like Premiere.

We also had a chance to sit down and talk with Futami (with the help of a translator) about Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization as well as what’s next for the series:

Nerd Reactor: Could we see Sword Art Online as a VR game in the future?

Yosuke Futami: Of course. With Sony releasing the PS VR recently and the growing popularity of virtual reality, we are thinking about how we are able to bring the series (Sword Art Online) to VR.

What type of game could we possibly see, if Sword Art Online did ever come to VR?

If we were to a VR title, GGO (Gun Gale Online) would probably be the most adaptable game. With GGO being a take on the shooter genre, having players take on the role of Kirito as the main character and play through a campaign I feel would be interesting. But I would like to give the players a different type of gameplay experience where they are able to immerse themselves as they play. That is what I am currently considering right now; a game multiplayer online game where you can make your own avatar.

When working on the Sword Art Online video games, do you look for any inspiration or references on what you can do to improve the next installment. Or maybe even adding to previous Namco Bandai titles like .Hack or any MMORPGs?

I look for both. For example, I looked at the art and gameplay mechanics from the .Hack series. I really enjoyed the .Hack games. I played the series myself and the concept of how it left players feeling like they were actually playing an online game. I also looked at different MMORPGs titles such as Final Fantasy XIV and their different mechanics such as system, concepts, atmosphere and everything like that to see what made the games fun to play. I then tried to reflect many of those elements into my games and I’ve learned a lot so that anyone who plays  Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization can enjoy it, so that even if they are just playing the campaign mode it feels like they are playing an MMORPG.

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With Hollow Realization set to release shortly, I also wanted to ask about the recently announced Sword Art Online X Accel World title coming next year in Japan (now officially revealed as Accel World VS Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight). Are you working on this title?

Yosuke Futami: Yes, I am in charge of the Sword Art Online X Accel World. While I can’t talk about the details of the game, it is the first collaboration title based on the original light novels by Reki Kawahara, who wrote both Accel World and Sword Art Online.

I also liked the fact that you added Kuroyukihime as both a recruitable character and extra boss in Sword Art Online: Lost song. It was a nice surprise.

Yosuke Futami: I believe the players who enjoyed Sword Art Online got an exciting surprise. Fans of Accel World were happy to know that they could play as Kuroyukihime. I think players will be excited to find out how the Accel World will merge into the world of Sword Art Online. Please wait for more details on the game at a later time.

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.